Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. It is the number one reason for tooth loss, which is why good oral hygiene, a balanced diet and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease. Your dentist and hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease at your routine visits and recommend the appropriate treatment.